Wall Tie Replacement
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What Are Wall Ties?
Cavity wall ties are unseen components that tie the internal and external leafs of a cavity wall together. They are built into the cavity wall during construction, with the ends of the ties embedded into the mortar bed at regular intervals. Wall ties can be used in all building construction types whether they are brick, timber or steel framed.
Wall ties have been used within cavity walls since the 1800’s but became a more regular feature in the 1930’s and from 1945 cavity wall construction became the norm.
The composition of the walls ties has changed over the years from the original wrought or cast iron ties to mild steel ties, which unfortunately have been found to corrode quicker, having less than a 60 year life span. This has been addressed for properties built after 1981 when the British Standard was amended to a triple zinc coating on a wire tie.
The wall ties are designed to span the cavity, tying the stable inner leaf to the outer leaf in order to provide structural stability.
Outer leafs tend to be high and slender, making them structurally vulnerable whereas the load-bearing inner leaf is sufficiently supported.
Wall ties impart stability to the outer leaf, holding the wall in place.
They are also designed to prevent water transfer from the outside and accommodate small movements in order to cope with fluctuations in temperature.
Identifying Wall Tie Failure
Cavity wall tie failure is either down to an issue with the construction and installation of the ties or due to corrosion over time. This can be exacerbated by damp or wet cavity wall insulation sitting on the wall ties.
Whatever the cause of wall tie failure, it is important that the problem is resolved quickly and correctly to avoid serious structural damage and prevent the danger of collapse.
It can be difficult to know exactly when wall ties have failed and to what extent.
The most common sign of wall tie failure is the appearance of regular horizontal cracks in your outer wall. A borescope can be used to inspect the condition of the wall ties within the cavity wall.
There are also several external visual indications that your wall ties may have failed:
- Horizontal and sometimes vertical masonry cracking (spalling)
- Bulging or bowing of brickwork
- Separation of window reveals
- Sagging or lifting lintels
- Stairs and skirting boards may have moved
If you see your outer leaf start to come away from the inner leaf then this is a tell-tale sign that the wall ties have failed.
Carrying out a Wall Tie Survey
Holes will be drilled in the outer leaf (12mm) and a borescope inserted into the cavities to ascertain the type of wall ties present and the condition they are in.
It may be necessary to carry out a more detailed survey if the cavities are found to have cavity wall insulation installed.
A survey report will then be issued outlining the works required.
Replacing Cavity Wall Ties
Using a metal detector we will locate and mark out the existing wall ties, which may remain in place if appropriate.
New ties are then inserted into the walls and spaced vertically and horizontally in accordance with British Standards.
Once all your ties have been inserted it may be necessary to fill any holes in the outer wall to prevent any possibility of water ingress into the cavity void.
Guarantee of Works
As a fully accredited member of The Wall Tie Installers Federation we are able to offer an annual product guarantee insurance which indemnifies the Federation and Cavitech UK Ltd in respect of liability arising under the guarantees issued.
- Independent of manufacturer or installer
- Fully insurance backed
- Covers all aspects of the work
- Fully transferable to any new owner of the building
How Much Does Wall Tie Replacement Cost
Wall tie replacement is an excellent investment and would give you good return for your money over time. On average, an m2 area on each elevation can contain 2-3 wall ties and the cost for these works would be in the region of £5.00 – £8.00 per wall tie, depending on the overall area to be repaired and a full survey. The use of scaffolding or a tower would be in addition to these costings.
Contact Cavitech-UK today so we can check the condition of your cavity wall ties and inform you if any problem exists.